Social Media Policies Presentation   Christy Season
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Social Media Policies Presentation Christy Season



Today's social media policy presentation by Christy Season. All material copyright Christy Season 2009.

Today's social media policy presentation by Christy Season. All material copyright Christy Season 2009.



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  • Social media may have started as the domainof American teens and 20-somethings, butthey have become online experiences thattranscend demographics and dominateInternet usage for nearly every age group.

Social Media Policies Presentation Christy Season Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Social Media Guidelines
    why have it • what it looks like • who should it cover
    Christy A. Season, CAPM
    SMC Columbia | 07.30.09
  • 2. You can’t ignore social media anymore
    Verdict is in: social media is here to stay
    Twitter grew 1,382% year-over-year in February, registering a total of more than 7 million visitors in the US for the month
    65.7 million unique visitors (and growing) on Facebook
    Source: Nielsen Online
    Social Media is no longer Gen Y dominated
    Facebook’s largest group of users are 35 -54
    Number of Facebook users aged 55 and over has grown from 950,000 to 5.9 million in only 6 mo.
    Source: iStrategy Labs
    Your employees are using it – at work, at home, on their cell phones . . .
    Christy A. Season, CAPM
  • 3. Why put guidelines in place?
    More than 1 in 5 companies have disciplined an employee for violating blog or message board policies in the last year
    Of these companies, half have terminated an employee for such a violation. (Source: ProofPoint – security company)
    Over 20% have investigated the exposure of confidential, sensitive or private information via a blog or message board posting. (Source: ProofPoint – security company)
    One-third of employees surveyed never consider what their boss or customers might think before posting material online (Source: Deloitte Ethics & Workplace Survey)
    Christy A. Season, CAPM
  • 4. Why put guidelines in place?
    Unauthorized or inappropriate commentary or posts online can:
    Get the company, and the employee, in legal trouble with the U.S. and other government agencies, other companies, customers or the general public.
    Diminish the company’s brand name by creating negative publicity for the company, owners and partners as well as employees.
    Cause damage to the company by releasing non-public information or proprietary information.
    Cost the company the ability to get patents or undermine your competitive advantage.
    Cost the employee their job at the company.
    Source: Click to Client – Online Marketing Experts
    Christy A. Season, CAPM
  • 5. Why put guidelines in place?
    There’s the stupid . . .
    Arlington, Ore. Mayor posts racy pictures of herself in lingerie posing on a city fire truck on her MySpace profile
    Charlotte school teacher gets fired from teaching job for posting derogatory statements on her Facebookprofile about her students
    Dominoes employees create viral video showing them doing disgusting things to a customer’s food order
    There’s those who just didn’t know better . . .
    New employee hired at company blogs about first day at work, shares proprietary information
    Employee posts status update to Facebook about how hard the Excel sheet he’s working on is – and includes a screen shot of the Excel file, complete with confidential financial data
    Employees sharing confidential, internal e-mails or communications by posting them online in comments to news stories or blogs – they are just trying to help
    Christy A. Season, CAPM
  • 6. Knee jerk reaction
    “Let’s just block all social media sites”
    Would you take away e-mail from employees? Or their phones?
    Still have access outside of work
    Employees don’t need social media to goof off at work
    Performance issue, not a technology issue
    Before social media…before computers…
    Workers would gather around the water cooler for some mindless banter
    Cigarette breaks, head to the vending machines, co-worker's office for chit-chat
    Social media at work improves productivity?
    University of Melbourne research found that people who took small breaks between tasks were 9% more productive than their colleagues who did not
    You want your employees to be innovative, creative, and make good quality decisions using competitive information
    So why would you prevent access to these new tools?
    Twitter reports news faster than most news agencies
    Social media is free and information is instant
    Christy A. Season, CAPM
  • 7. Knee jerk reaction
    Gen-Y and newer generations expect to have access
    While not a Gen-Y exclusive tool anymore, it’s still an expectation of Gen-Y
    Children are interacting with computers and social media at a younger and younger age
    New generations are entering the workplace and expect to leverage tools like text messaging, Twitter, blogs, and Facebook
    A recent survey has 39% of younger workers considering leaving their jobs if they lost access to the popular social networking site (Source: Telindus)
    Blocking access sends a bigger message to younger generations who value work-life balance
    “We don’t trust you.”
    “Your duties here are more important than the rest of your life”.
    21% would just be annoyed
    Younger employees might not quit, but in a competitive job market, it might be enough to make them choose another employer over you
    Happy employee = engaged employee = higher profits
    Christy A. Season, CAPM
  • 8. Why put guidelines in place?
    Social media is simply a new channelto an existing assortment of channels already accessible to your employees
    We already have policies and guidelines in place for these channels, social media is just a new addition
    Extend existing policies to social media
    Christy A. Season, CAPM
  • 9. Why put guidelines in place?
    Your employees are your brand, their behavior online reflects on the company
    Employees generally want to do the right thing, violations occur due to lack of education
    Most applicable to new employees
    Policies or guidelines can easily be created to guide employees on the rights and wrongs of using social media
    Guide employees - don’t mandate if possible, tell them how to use it, or discourage use
    Employees will begin to govern themselves
    Determine up front whether to create a policy or guidelines
    Important to distinguish between the two
    Guidelines are best practices, ”nice-to-have”
    Policy violations can have serious consequences for your business
    Christy A. Season, CAPM
  • 10. Basic Process for Creating Social Media Guidelines
    Christy A. Season, CAPM
  • 11. Step 1: Create a committee
    Create a cross-functional committee consisting of representatives of departments who have a vested interest in policies
    Our Committee
    Corporate Communications
    Corporate Compliance
    Include all generations
    Ensures you get input from all aspects, cover all bases
    Christy A. Season, CAPM
  • 12. Step 2: Don’t reinvent the wheel
    Look at available policies/guidelines from other companies
    See what works already
    Reach out to others in your industry
    You already have policies in place for e-mail, computer use at work, and public discourse
    Use these existing policies and extend to cover social media
    Christy A. Season, CAPM
  • 13. Step 3: Choose your high level sections
    Christy A. Season, CAPM
    Decide what needs to be covered in the guidelines
    Choose sections that make sense with your business and for your employees
    We used a worksheet comparing main sections from policies/guidelines we benchmarked (see handout)
    Helped us see what was used across all policies and allowed us to ‘pick and choose’ what worked for us
    Shows typical sections found in social media policies
  • 14. Step 4: Develop out the content
    Important to use same tone as your other company policies
    Tone of guidelines must match other existing policies
    Tone and content of document must reflect culture of the company
    Otherwise employees won’t take it seriously and it won’t be effective
    Be sure to define within guidelines what ‘social media’ is and what it covers
    Cover what happens when certain aspects of the guidelines are violated
    Christy A. Season, CAPM
  • 15. Step 5: Review and edit
    Walk through the guidelines word for word, as a group with the committee
    Make edits, tweaks, changes as needed
    Christy A. Season, CAPM
    Step 6: Present to Policy Committee
    • Present guidelines to policy group if it exists in your organization
    • 16. Get their support and make sure they are on board before next step
    Step 7: Present to sr. level management
    • Your guidelines won’t be taken seriously unless you have buy-in from the top
    • 17. Make sure your top level management understand the need for the guidelines, the benefits of the guidelines, and the guidelines itself!
    • 18. Guidelines will help you sell social media to senior management
  • Step 8: Communicate the guidelines
    If employees don’t know it exists, how will they follow it?
    Communicate across all internal channels the new guidelines
    Explain the why and what the expectations are
    Include it in your new employee orientation
    Get feedback
    Some organizations let employees help shape the guidelines
    Post it to your intranet and let employees edit the guidelines and tell you what you’ve got right and what doesn’t make sense
    Create additional communications to help explain guidelines or to provide counsel (see Air Force hand out)
    Christy A. Season, CAPM
  • 19. Step 9: Reevaluate and keep it current
    Social media is constantly growing and changing with new sites and tools launching every day
    Don’t let your policy get outdated
    Keep the policy up-to-date and current by continuously updating thepolicy to match the current social media environment
    Continue to solicit employee feedback
    We are looking into the possibility down the road to merge existing policies with social media guidelines
    Considering creating an umbrella ‘electronic media’ policy that covers all channels
    Christy A. Season, CAPM
  • 20. Who should it cover?
    All of your employees have access to social media
    Policy should cover all employees
    Doesn’t make sense to limit it to specific groups
    Contractors may or may not be covered
    If you generally include contractors in existing corporate policies, it makes sense to include them in the guidelines
    If you are unsure, check with the company that employs the contractors to see what guidelines are already in place
    Christy A. Season, CAPM
  • 21. Trust your employees. . .
    Policy or no policy, there will always be the individuals who goof off on social media at work or share too much information.
    With or without social media, chances are these folks would be in trouble with management regardless
    The majority of your employee population will govern themselves, act responsibly, and may even help promote your brand.
    Employees are your greatest ambassadors
    They can help shape and control the message just as much as any PR firm
    Blown away competition with marketing and new sales opportunities by allowing its employees to interact with customers and businesses via social media (Twitter)
    Christy A. Season, CAPM
    Sean R. Nicholson, author of the Intranet Experience blog, says it best, “Sometimes a simple reminder of good judgment can have as powerful of an effect as a harsh corporate policy…What’s the alternative? Write a complex policy banning them from social media activities that is both unrealistic and unproductive. And what fun is that??”
  • 22. Thank You.
    Questions or Comments?
    Christy A. Season, CAPM